March 1st 2003
Non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately80% of all lung tumors. Patients diagnosed with early-stage diseasegenerally undergo surgery, but up to 50% develop local or distantrecurrences. The benefit of chemotherapy in this disease is modest, butnew drugs and combined strategies offer hope of improved survivalrates. Because the disease recurs outside the chest in 70% of cases, oneof the foremost goals of therapy is to prevent distant dissemination. Tothis end, chemotherapy may be administered preoperatively or afterresection of the tumor. The first part of this article, which concludesnext month, will address adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemotherapy inearly-stage non–small-cell lung cancer.